I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
Cruelty has a human heart,
And Jealousy a human face;
Terror the human form divine,
Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind does move
Sweet dreams form a shade,
O'er my lovely infants head.
Sweet dreams of pleasant streams,
By happy silent moony beams
I dreamt a dream! What can it mean?
And that I was a maiden Queen
Guarded by an Angel mild:
Witless woe was ne'er beguiled!
Children of the future age,
Reading this indignant page,
Know that in a former time
I wandered through each chartered street,
Near where the chartered Thames does flow,
A mark in every face I meet,
Ah Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller's journey is done;
Nought loves another as itself,
Nor venerates another so,
Nor is it possible to thought
A greater than itself to know.
MY Spectre around me night and day
Like a wild beast guards my way;
My Emanation far within
Weeps incessantly for my sin.
I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen;
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.
Sweet dreams, form a shade
O'er my lovely infant's head!
Sweet dreams of pleasant streams
Prepare, prepare the iron helm of war,
Bring forth the lots, cast in the spacious orb;
Th' Angel of Fate turns them with mighty hands,
And casts them out upon the darken'd earth!
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
Once a dream did weave a shade
O'er my angel-guarded bed,
That an emmet lost its way
The sun descending in the west,
The evening star does shine;
The birds are silent in their nest,
William Blake (1757-1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker who is widely considered one of the most important figures of the Romantic era. He was born in London, England, and spent most of his life there. Blake began his career as an engraver and illustrator, and he quickly gained a reputation for his skill and innovation in the field. He also began writing poetry, and his first collection, Poetical Sketches, was published in 1783. Blake's poetry is known for its spiritual and mystical themes, and his work often explores the relationship between the human spirit and the divine. He is also known for his vivid and imaginative visual art, which often depicts scenes from his own poetry. Despite his talent and innovation, Blake struggled to gain recognition during his lifetime, and he died in relative obscurity. However, his work was rediscovered in the 20th century and has since become widely celebrated and studied. Today, Blake is regarded as one of the greatest poets and visual artists in English history, and his influence on modern literature and art cannot be overstated. His work continues to inspire and challenge readers and artists around the world, and his unique vision and voice remain as relevant and powerful as ever. William Blake and his works have been widely studied and critiqued during the twentieth and now the twenty-first centuries, although he was hardly recognized before that. His biography "Life" by Alexander Gilchrist made him famous in 1863, but it wasn't until the beginning of the twentieth century that he was truly understood and recognized. It appears that his art was too daring and unusual for the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; perhaps he was even ahead of his time? In any case, he is a well-known figure in Romantic literature whose work is subject to a variety of interpretations, some of which have been known to take a lifetime to uncover. His works are difficult to comprehend, and he as a person has sparked a lot of dispute. Henry Crabb Robinson, who was a diarist and friend of Blake’s at the end of his life asked the question many students of Blake are still unable to conclusively answer: “Shall I call him artist or genius – or mystic – or madman?” (Lucas, 1998 p. 1) Blake dropped out of school at the age of 10 to attend the Henry Pars Drawing Academy for five years, despite being a well-read and brilliant man. He began composing poetry at the age of twelve, and in 1783, his friends financed for the printing of his first collection of rhymes, "Poetical Sketches," which is today considered an important poetical event of the 18th century. Despite his poetic abilities, his official occupation was that of an engraver. In 1772, he began his apprenticeship with the engraver James Basire since he could not afford to pursue a painter's apprenticeship. He joined the Royal Academy of Art six years after completing his apprenticeship. He wrote and sketched for fun at this point. In 1784, he founded his own business and published "Island in the Moon," a parody of his contemporaries in the art and literature social circles with whom he associated. He married Catherine Boucher in 1782. The society in which Blake lived had a major effect on him. During Britain's struggle with republican France, he lived during revolutionary times and witnessed the fall of London. As he grew older, his disdain for society deepened, 'The Songs of Innocence and Experience' depicts this transformation. Although Blake is not commonly renowned for being a grotesque artist, his experiences and dissatisfaction with late-eighteenth-century London society plainly emulates grotesque features. Due to the impossibility of discussing all of Blake's works, this study will concentrate on 'Songs of Innocence and Experience,' specifically 'Songs of Experience,' to see how he depicted his thoughts on society and how the grotesque fits into that. Blake's preoccupation with good and evil, as well as his strong philosophical and theological views, lasted the rest of his life, and he never ceased representing them in his poems and engravings. Although the Blake family name perished with him when he died in 1827 at the age of sixty-nine, his reputation as a fascinating, complicated man with various creative abilities will undoubtedly go on long into this century. 'Europe,' 'America,' 'Visions of the Daughters of Albion,' and 'The Book of Urizen' are among his other well-known works.)
A Poison Tree
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine,
And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
I see every thing I paint in this world, but everybody does not see alike. To the eyes of a miser a guinea is more beautiful than the sun, and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes.
Want of money and the distress of a thief can never be alleged as the cause of his thieving, for many honest people endure greater hardships with fortitude. We must therefore seek the cause elsewhere than in want of money, for that is the miser's passion, not the thief's.
Embraces are cominglings from the head even to the feet, And not a pompous high priest entering by a secret place.
He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.
What is a wife and what is a harlot? What is a church and what Is a theatre? are they two and not one? can they exist separate? Are not religion and politics the same thing? Brotherhood is religion, O demonstrations of reason dividing families in cruelty and pride!
Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.
When the painted birds laugh in the shade, When our table with cherries and nuts is spread: Come live, and be merry, and join with me To sing the sweet chorus of 'Ha, ha, he!'
A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.
No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings.
One thought fills immensity.
Like a fiend in a cloud With howling woe, After night I do crowd, And with night will go;
Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you.
For light doth seize my brain With frantic pain.
I traveld thro' a Land of Men A Land of Men & Women too, And heard & saw such dreadful things As cold Earth wanderers never knew.
The generations of men run on in the tide of time, But leave their destined lineaments permanent for ever & ever.
All futurity Seems teeming with endless destruction never to be repelled; Desperate remorse swallows the present in a quenchless rage.
When the voices of children are heard on the green And laughing is heard on the hill, My heart is at rest within my breast And everything else is still.
The hours of folly are measured by the clock, but of wisdom no clock can measure.
When I tell any truth it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those who do.
To the eyes of a miser a guinea is more beautiful than the sun, and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes.
My silks and fine array, My smiles and languish'd air, By Love are driv'n away; And mournful lean Despair Brings me yew to deck my grave: Such end true lovers have.
Ah, Sun-flower, weary of time, Who countest the steps of the Sun, Seeking after that sweet golden clime Where the traveller's journey is done: Where the Youth pined away with desire, And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow Arise from their graves, and aspire Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.
My mother groan'd! my father wept. Into the dangerous world I leapt: Helpless, naked, piping loud: Like a fiend hid in a cloud.
Opposition is true friendship.
O Rose, thou art sick! The invisible worm That flies in the night, In the howling storm, Has found out thy bed Of crimson joy: And his dark secret love Does thy life destroy.
It appears to me that men are hired to run down men of genius under the mask of translators, but Dante gives too much of Caesar: he is not a republican.
I wander thro' each charter'd street, Near where the charter'd Thames does flow, And mark in every face I meet Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
The enquiry in England is not whether a man has talents & genius, but whether he is passive & polite & a virtuous ass & obedient to noblemen's opinions in art & science. If he is, he is a good man. If not, he must be starved.
I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow.
In the morning glad I see My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree.
Hear the voice of the Bard! Who Present, Past and Future, sees;
The Beggar's Rags, fluttering in Air, Does to Rags the Heavens tear.
On a cloud I saw a child, And he laughing said to me, "Pipe a song about a Lamb"; So I piped with merry chear. "Piper pipe that song again"— So I piped, he wept to hear. "Drop thy pipe thy happy pipe Sing thy songs of happy chear"; So I sung the same again While he wept with joy to hear.
Sound the Flute! Now it's mute. Birds delight Day and Night;
The Questioner, who sits so sly, Shall never know how to Reply.
Little Lamb, Here I am; Come and lick My white neck;
We are led to Believe a Lie When we see not Thro' the Eye
Ah! gentle may I lay me down, and gentle rest my head, And gentle sleep the sleep of death, and gentle hear the voice Of Him that walketh in the garden in the evening time!"
A dog starv'd at his Master's Gate Predicts the ruin of the State.
Does the Eagle know what is in the pit Or wilt thou go ask the Mole? Can wisdom be put in a silver rod, Or love in a golden bowl?
And the Angel told Tom if he'd be a good boy, He'd have God for his father & never want joy. And so Tom awoke and we rose in the dark And got with our bags & our brushes to work. Tho' the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm, So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.
A little black thing among the snow Crying "'weep, 'weep," in notes of woe! "Where are thy father & mother? say?" "They are both gone up to the church to pray.
And all must love the human form, In heathen, Turk, or Jew. Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell There God is dwelling too.
For Mercy has a human heart, Pity, a human face; And Love, the human form divine, And Peace, the human dress.
I went to the Garden of Love, And saw what I never had seen: A Chapel was built in the midst, Where I used to play on the green. And the gates of this Chapel were shut, And 'Thou shalt not' writ over the door;
Every harlot was a virgin once.
To me this world is all one continued vision of fancy or imagination, and I feel flattered when I am told so. What is it sets Homer, Virgil and Milton in so high a rank of art? Why is Bible more entertaining and instructive than any other book? Is it not because they are addressed to the imagination, which is spiritual sensation, and but mediately to the understanding or reason?
Christianity is art & not money. Money is its curse.
The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity ... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.
God keep me from the divinity of Yes and No ... the Yea Nay Creeping Jesus, from supposing Up and Down to be the same thing as all experimentalists must suppose.